Local News

Hollidaysburg Area approves Pennsylvania Youth Survey

The Pennsylvania Youth Survey — also known as PAYS — is given to youth in sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades in public and private schools statewide to assess their behaviors, attitudes and knowledge about drug use. But as the decision to approve the survey for this fall came to the ...

Ex-service contractor president’s wife charged

The executive charged with stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his Altoona-Blair County Airport service contractor is in Blair County Prison, while his wife awaits similar charges for taking thousands of dollars herself, police said. Benjamin F. Gottshall, 42, was jailed last week by ...

Loan gets approved for restaurant

The Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission board recently approved a $200,000 loan to help Mama Randazzo’s restaurant complete a renovation project. Total cost for the project at 1600 Broadway is estimated at $937,500. The project calls for increasing the seating capacity ...

Area briefs

APD officer waives prelim hearing An Altoona police officer charged last month with driving under the influence has waived his preliminary hearing. Erik Stirk, 40, appeared Tuesday at Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker’s office with his attorney Thomas Forr for his arraignment on a ...

Free tickets offered for Liberty Medal ceremony

PHILADELPHIA — The National Constitution Center says it will offer a limited number of complimentary tickets for the 29th annual Liberty Medal ceremony honoring U.S. Sen. John McCain. Requests can be made on the center’s website beginning at noon Aug. 15. Complimentary tickets will be ...

Cambria seeks ‘bridge to Pittsburgh’

EBENSBURG — The local Ghost Town Trail may have served as a venue Wednesday afternoon for officials from Cambria and Allegheny counties as they pedaled bikes in a shared ride, but the scope of their meeting was to discuss another pathway — a metaphorical “bridge to Pittsburgh.” Prior ...

Road project to cause closures at Trough Creek

JAMES CREEK — Trough Creek State Park officials have announced that a road repair project on Trough Creek Drive in the park will begin in mid-August. The road work will necessitate the closure of the Trough Creek Campground during the same weekday period because of access and safety ...

Court uphold’s Maurizio’s conviction

The conviction and 200-month prison sentence of a Somerset County priest for the sexual abuse of children who were living at an orphanage in El Progresso, Honduras, have been upheld by a federal appeals court. Sixteen months ago, U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson sentenced the priest, Joseph ...

State judge halts drilling

Sunoco pipeline workers must temporarily halt all horizontal directional drilling associated with the Pennsylvania construction of the controversial Mariner East 2, which will pass through local communities. The halt — ordered Tuesday by state Environmental Hearing Board Judge Bernard A. ...

Voting machine choice depends on certification

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County leaders said Tuesday that a decision on their anticipated purchase of new voting machines will hinge on which become certified by state and federal election officials. While commissioners showed interest in a touch-screen voting machine demonstrated Tuesday by ...

Deadline approaches for property value appeals

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County residents who believe their properties are valued too high for real estate taxes only have another week to appeal their assessments for their 2018 tax bills. Those interested in lower property assessment or an exemption from real estate taxes must secure and ...

City man faces charges in three separate cases

A city man faces charges in three separate cases after his weekend arrest for allegedly driving while under the influence of marijuana. Trenton Dean Biddle, 2138 18th St., was arrested just before 1 a.m. Sunday after he was pulled over by state police in Antis Township. Along with facing DUI ...

Court upholds arrest, search in drug bust

A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel late last week found no problems with the way Altoona police handled a surprise ending to a drug bust that occurred in Logan Town Centre 21 months ago. A team of officers led by Sgt. Christopher Moser, in charge of the city’s Narcotics and Vice Unit, ...

Area briefs

Rail car incident under investigation GBW Railcar Services representatives are investigating a Thursday incident in which three workers at the company’s Hollidaysburg facility lost consciousness inside a tank car. In a written statement this week, officials said the three workers regained ...

Mount Aloysius chooses senior vice president

CRESSON — Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley announced that John Mills will serve as senior vice president of academic affairs and provost at Mount Aloysius for the 2017-18 academic year. Mills was president at Paul Smith’s College from 2004-14. At Paul Smith’s, he also served ...

Three of 4 ACA plan rates may rise 8 percent

Insurers serving central Pennsylvania’s Affordable Care Act market have signaled their plans for rate increases next year, but uncertainty in Washington has left the future unclear for customers and state officials. With the fall deadline for 2018 plans approaching, insurance providers — ...

Zoning Board approves UPMC parking request

The Altoona Zoning Hearing Board recently gave permission for UPMC Altoona to construct a parking lot behind the Building II Athletic Club to accommodate the need for more spaces created by the recent shift of medical oncology from Station Medical Center to the previously vacant first floor of ...

Pa. DEP reveals drilling leaks

Cross-state construction of Sunoco’s controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline has led to a number of leaks of the clay-water mixture used as a lubricant for horizontal drilling, including a handful locally. Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said these issues are not uncommon in pipeline ...